Categories > Games > World of Darkness > After the Fall

After the Fall

by Cobalt-Blue 0 reviews

A strange Bastet shows up at a Taghairm, with a warning of the coming Apocalypse. Will the werecat's listen to what he has to say.

Category: World of Darkness - Rating: PG - Genres: Action/Adventure, Horror - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2006-01-02 - Updated: 2006-01-02 - 2520 words

Below is one in a series of stories I'm writing to set up a campaign world my wife and I are running in the Old World of Darkness. The idea for the campaign is to take place among the survivors of the Apocalypse and Gehenna. For the purposes of this campaign, it seems that the Elder Vampires lied, and there was more to the Cosmology of the Changing Breeds than anybody knew. I don't own Raindance, or Violet- they appear in the Bastet Book. I don't own the concept of Cain or Gaia as presented in the World of Darkness. I don't own Bastet or any of the other WoD ideas. I do own what's mine and some of the general ideas here. I hope you enjoy.

PS: Knowing the parlance of the Bastet maybe helpful.


Warnings of Ice

Raindance listened to the ritespeaker's recital of the Caliah with some interest. There were always new ways of telling the tale, and he was often on the lookout for new insights inspired by Thunderbird. But what truly interested Raindance was the stranger sitting in the corner listening carefully.

Tall and well built, with white hair and sky blue eyes, Raindance suspected he was a Khan, probably English. He'd been hearing tales of a Khan who through many actions had earned a great deal of renown for his bravery in defending the Folk, but at the same time not a small amount of notoriety for his depredations on the Garou. It seems that he has a personal hate on for Fenrir's Get.

The stranger seemed to sense his attention and shifted his gaze from the ritespeaker to meet his eyes. There was a great wisdom behind those blue orbs that spoke of as much pain as there was glory. With a polite nod, the stranger turned back to listen as the ritespeaker finished the Caliah.

As the fire crackled and popped in the huge fireplace, Walks With the Southern Wind's words faded up the chimney and away. The old Pumonca then turned to the stranger and began the rite of Grooming the Newcomer, "Stranger in our midst, stand and present yourself to the Taghairm."

The blond stood and nodded to the others. In a clear and commanding voice, he said, "I am Kottrtru, and I would share this fire and feast tonight." He held up a bottle of what looked like very old Scotch, "And as per the custom I bring a gift to the host."

Southern Wind's reaction was visible. The name Kottrtru had been whispered around taghairm's for the past seventy or so years, and the secrets he shared at these meetings was known to have saved many a Bastets' lives with warnings of Garou and Wyrm attacks. It was said that he warned the Bastet of Southeast Asia of the Tsunami of 2004. "This is a noble name you lay claim to," Southern Wind said. "Forgive me, but you do not appear to be as old as your legend." Raindance saw her stare at the newcomer, gazing deep in his eyes. He knew the gift of Righteous Gaze when he saw it. "Speak the truth!" she demanded.

The man calling himself Kottrtru locked eyes with her and the tension in the air was intense. Finally, the man smiled and said, "I am Kottrtru, I am not who I claim to be, I am who I am."

"He speaks the truth," she said. "How I don't know, but he speaks the truth." Turning back to the newcomer she said, "Your name is noble and carries with it much Renown for ferocity, honor and cunning. Welcome to this Taghairm, Ilani Kottrtru." She turned to the tall African American man who was the host and said, "This is Mane of Blood, our host."

Kottrtru nodded to the Simba and presented him with the bottle. Mane of Blood nodded and accepted the gift before saying, "Welcome to my realm. May your stay here be as profitable for the Folk as it has been for other Taghairms."

With Kottrtru's passing of the rite, the tension in the room dropped. The great blond nodded to the Simba again and replied, "I hope it will for the sake of all the Folk."
He then returned to his seat next to the fire.

The next hour or so was spent listening as various young Tekhmet told tales of their accomplishments in an effort to become recognized. One in particular, a lad of about thirteen or fourteen stood and said, "My name is Sasha," he shrugged. "I haven't yet earned a name, but I will tell you a tahla."

Barnham chuckled across the room and asked, "What tahla could a Tekhmet who has yet to earn his name know?"

The young man smiled and said. "Listen and I hope to answer your question Tilau Barnham." He cleared his throat and began as all the other Bastet settled into comfortable positions on the floor.

"A cat was playing the sandbox when the mist came out of the night to whisper to him. The kitten was learning to dance in the storm when the mist said, "The sword broken when the lightning struck the dragon has been re-forged. The fires from the wind are gathering their watua." The kitten was surprised by this, so he went to one of the stone playgrounds near the lake of tears. There he saw things that confused him greatly. Shining children being bitten by dogs; shrouds who stood watch over kittens; storm dancers and wolves not of Gaia who came to teach both to hunt the dogs, and khava kittens centuries olds.

The kitten got closer, because the secrets he smelled there were tantalizing indeed and he'd yet learned that the fire the shrouds sometimes carry can singe his fur. But he was a careful kitten and discovered that shrouds of lavender rise from their ashes to destroy dark storm dancers and reforge lost swords.

/ The kitten decided that this was the kind of thing that the mist should know so he returned to the sandbox. There, one night the mist came to the kitten and he related his tahla to the mist." The mist became thicker and exploded into the night. Later upon returning, the mist told the kitten to come here, that more of the tahla would told/." Sasha finished his tale and sat down.

"I have a name for him," Barnham said, "Talks To Smoke."

"Or, maybe Talks When Smoking," Violet added with glee.

Southern Wind stood up and said, "What do you mean Wolves not of Gaia, Khava cubs centuries old? And shrouds don't rise from their ashes, and they certainly aren't lavender!"

"That is the tahla," Kottrtru said. "There is much wisdom in what Isseskinn says. I've come to tell a similar tale."

"Eessa skin?" Mane of Blood asked.

Kottrtru turned to him and smiled, "Yes, Isseskinn, it means Ice Fur."

"What do you know of what the cub says?" Southern Wind asked.

Kottrtru stood and looked around the room, matching each person's gaze, his eyes lingering on the boy for just a moment before falling on Raindance. Raindance felt something go through him like a shot. He could hear Thunderbird roar outside, telling him, "/Listen, he will tell you a secret not even the Bubasti know/."

Kottrtru finally cleared his throat and began. "I will tell you a tahla that has been kept since Gaia gave birth to the changing breeds. I will tell you tahla in plain words so that all who hear may understand but many will chose not to believe. I will tell you a secret that no longer needs to be kept for in its keeping would be the destruction of the Folk."

Now THAT got people's attention. One thing the Bastet had learned to trust was this particular werecat's warnings. They were frightening in their accuracy. And to tell it outside the realm of a tahla was unheard of. It meant that it did not matter who heard it or that it was meant to be understood by even the densest yabba of the Simba.

The blond cleared his throat and began. "In the ancient days, when Gaia was giving birth to the changing breeds and when Cain was learning what his curse really meant, there were other things going on in the world. Gaia was simply one of many divine spirits who came into being when the universe was spun from the primal fire and ice. They watched carefully what the skin changers did, and waited to see what would become of it. The other spirits too created changing breeds, and the other forsaken ones too created progeny, though more selective and careful about who and what they created. They too watched what their cousins from these lines would do.

And to be honest, you guys fucked it up. Again they all waited and watched in horror at the actions of their cousins. And congratulations, most of Gaia's and Cain's children lived right down to our expectations." He sighed

"Although the Bastet and Gurahl have done better than the others, you still disappointed us. Now the Apocalypse and Gehenna is coming and we've got to clean up your mess." He shook his head and walked calmly around the room. "It has been decided that of the changing breeds, you two deserve to be saved. What happens to the dogs happens to them. The True Wolves will survive as they always have. The other changing breeds will survive if they're strong enough. Gaia's children are a dead end."

"Hear and understand this warning. We have walked among you since before the War of the Rage. We have tried to guide you, but you will not listen. Listen to this: Stay out of the great cities. The war the Garou are about to start in the Yggdrassil's limbs, will spill over into Midgarth. The humans and those like me, WILL protect themselves. If you interfere, if you go to the Garou's aid, then you will die as a race. The wyrm is of the Garou's creation. It is their responsibility to chain it. Your responsibility when they are gone is to reshape it into what it is supposed to be, not what your twisted beliefs have allowed it to become. Jormungand will be destroyed at a terrible price. Fenrir will be destroyed by the Allfather's son. Those who name him as sire, will be wiped from the face of Midgarth. Those who turn to Brisengamen's Owner may be chosen among the battleslain, or they may be spared for the next age.

It is time to put away your petty fights with Cain's progeny. They too will be destroyed for their own arrogance. In the end, what is left of the Folk and the Shadow Folk will be dominated by neither line, for the Conclave of Whispers gift to the world has returned despite the Nephandi's best efforts. While you were fighting your petty battles among each other, there were other battles fought to keep power at a balance. Now the hunters have become the hunted. Don't become prey."

He returned to the mantel and looked at the group with a resigned expression on his face. Before anyone else could say anything, Mane of Blood exploded, "What is this ratshit you're talking about? If the Garou go to war with Wyrm, it's job to be there as Gaia's eyes!"

"And how much do you know now?" Kottrtru asked. "I mean, you can't even save yourselves. You're slowly dying because you let a lesser species usurp what is your power."

"What are you talking about?" Southern Wind asked.

He chuckled at her. "What wolf can take a leopard? Why did they destroy you?" He turned to the Simba in the room, then to the other breeds of larger cat, and said,
"Because you were weak. Because you chose to let THEM be Gaia's warriors. Now you hide who and what you are, afraid of them finding you."

Mane of Blood stood and began hissing at Kottrutru. "I won't, I don't have to take this in my own realm!"

Kottrtru shook his head, "No, you don't. Perhaps the snow has melted enough in some of you to become fertile ground. Those that heed my words will survive. Those that don't will perish with Get of Jormungand's Brother." Raindance saw him turn and look directly into his soul. "I think there is some reason in this room, and with the vaettir's help what I've said will spread."

He walked toward the door, "In the meantime, I'm taking the boy with me." He looked directly over at Sasha and said, "Come."

As the two left the house, Raindance could see his host slowly begin to shift forms. This was not a good sign. When the host breaks the Peace of the Taghairm, no good could come to all who are present.

With a sudden dash, the huge red-maned chatro lion bounded through the wooden door into the night, disappearing through it as if into thin air- an obvious display of the power of an owner of a den realm. A second later a battle roar was given everyone could hear the clash of claws and fur.

Raindance watched as the others gathered around the large bay window of the room to look out onto the snow-covered ground below. Curiosity getting the better of him, he too got up and squeezed his way past Violet and Barnham.

The moonlight glowed brightly on the new fallen snow. In the middle of the tree-lined drive leading up to the property, Raindance saw the biggest damned white furred crinos cat he'd ever seen backhand the lion across the lawn. Mane of Blood was in his battle form, but Kottrtru was staying in crinos form. It was enough. Raindance could see Kottrtru's head nearly reaching the top of an RV parked in the driveway. Next to him, Southern Wind whispered in awe, "Khava."

Mane of Blood rolled in the snow and came to his feet, shaking his head, obviously trying to clear his wits from the blow. Kottrtru growled something, and went into a battle stance as the boy dashed off toward the gate at the end of the road.

Again the lion charged. The huge clawed hand of Kottrtru traced something in the air, and suddenly a wall of ice spikes erupted from the ground, skewering the lion on them

As Mane of blood writhed in pain trying to bite at a particularly nasty icicle that entered somewhere in his chest and was sticking out his back like a bloody dagger, huge fountains of blood erupting from his mouth, Kottrtru walked over and dropped something on the ground next to him. He turned his back and walked away as the great lion slowly tried to pushed himself up off the ice, only to fall back shivering as the frozen daggers drew out the last heat of his body.

Again, next to him Southern Wind said, "Khava." Raindance knew that the world of the Bastet had just changed in ways nobody every imagined.
Sign up to rate and review this story